Vitamin D Supplements Won’t Help Prevent Diabetes | Health, Medicine and Fitness
THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — While vitamin D may have other benefits, preventing type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults doesn’t appear to be one of them.
A new Japanese trial found no significant difference between study participants who used a vitamin supplement and those who took a placebo.
“Although treatment with eldecalcitol [an active form of vitamin D used to treat osteoporosis in Japan] did not significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes in people with prediabetes, the results suggest the potential for a beneficial effect of eldecalcitol on people with insufficient insulin secretion,” the researchers said. .
For the study, Tetsuya Kawahara of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu, Japan, and colleagues assessed whether eldecalcitol could reduce Type 2 diabetes risk in 630 people with glucose intolerance. They were compared to 626 participants who received a placebo.
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The individuals were recruited from three hospitals in Japan between 2013 and 2019. With an average age of 61, approximately 46% were female and 59% had a family history of type 2 diabetes. They were tested for diabetes all three months for three years.
The result: The researchers found no significant difference between the groups.
About 12.5% of the eldecalcitol group developed diabetes, compared with 14% of the placebo group. Blood sugar levels returned to normal in about 23% of the eldecalcitol group and 20% of the others, the results showed.
The report was published online May 25 in the BMJ.
After adjusting for other influencing factors, researchers found that eldecalcitol may prevent type 2 diabetes in some prediabetic patients. The finding is unclear and further research is needed, the study authors noted in a press release.
The study also found a significant increase in lower back and hip bone mineral densities in people who took Vitamin D.
It is unclear whether the dose chosen by the team was the right one to prevent diabetes or whether the results could be applied to all ethnic groups.
About 480 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, and that number is expected to rise to 700 million by 2045. About half a billion people have impaired glucose tolerance or prediabetes.
Although weight loss and exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, they are difficult to maintain, prompting the search for new strategies.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr Tatiana Christides of Queen Mary University of London noted that several questions remain. They include whether vitamin D supplementation may be more effective for special populations, and whether longer treatment or starting at a younger age might be beneficial.
Healthcare professionals “should continue to talk to patients about the musculoskeletal health benefits of vitamin D and help them achieve and maintain lifestyle changes that, while difficult to maintain, are known to decrease the development of type 2 diabetes,” Christides said.
The American Diabetes Association has more on prediabetes and types of diabetes.
THE SOURCE: BMJpress release, May 25, 2022